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Cleveland Expands CITO Position After IT Leader's Departure

The city of Cleveland is expanding the chief innovation and technology officer position to oversee data and 311 services. The revised position was posted shortly after the city launched its first open data portal.

An aerial view of the Cleveland skyline including railroad tracks and neighborhoods in the foreground.
Following the departure of its IT leader, the city of Cleveland is looking for a new chief innovation and technology officer (CITO), and has expanded the role to oversee multiple departments.

Froilan Roy C. Fernando formerly held the CITO position, and was hired in 2022. According to his LinkedIn account, he left the job in April 2024. While there is no interim CITO, employees in Information Technology Services are reporting to the city’s chief financial officer.

The revised position will manage two additional departments within the municipality: Urban Analytics and Innovation and Resident Experience and Support (the city’s 311 and requests for city services department). The CITO will also continue to oversee the Division of Information Technology Services.

“The city of Cleveland is committed to a modern and responsive city government and this role is key to delivering on that promise to better serve our residents,” wrote Sarah Johnson, the city’s chief communications officer, in an email to Government Technology.

Johnson shared that in addition to the development, execution, coordination and modernization of technology for the city and the everyday resident experience, the CITO will be involved in the innovation and process improvement of the city’s data practices, and provide a centralized hub for prompt, transparent and responsive customer service.

In the spring of 2024, Cleveland launched a long-awaited data portal, noting an intention for the portal to continue evolving with additional iterations. The job posting lists a "strong understanding of technology and data use in a government context including most up-to-date practices and how they should be deployed," as one of the minimum requirements.

The position is open until June 8, 2024.